Hastings thoroughbred trainers have had another stellar week with four winners produced from the centre in the last seven days.
John Bary saddled up Vinnie's Volley to win at last Friday's Woodville meeting and then picked up another success with Glimpse at Awapuni the following day, while Paul Nelson took three horses to Sunday's Rotorua meeting and picked up wins with No Change and Look Out.
The John Bary-trained Heart Of Stone also finished second on debut at Woodville while Shady Lady, from the stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, recorded her third consecutive runner-up position at the same meeting.
Zed Leppelin also finished second in a maiden hurdle at Rotorua for the husband and wife training team of Sue Thompson and Mick Brown.
Paul Nelson still holds fourth place on the national trainers' premiership with eight wins since August 1 while John Bary has also made a good start to the new season with three victories and the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen is on two wins.
Vinnies Volley made it two wins in a row with another impressive performance in the Rating 72 race over 1100m at Woodville following a fresh up success over 1000m at Taupo last month.
The 4-year-old Iffraaj mare, ridden by experienced jockey Chris Johnson, trailed the leader to the home turn before taking control and then shot clear.
Bring To The Block made a strong run from the back but only got to within three-quarters of a length of Vinnie's Volley at the line.
Vinnies Volley was following on from a fresh up success over 1000m at Taupo last month and now has three wins from only six starts.
She is raced by the Too Posh Syndicate, a large group of keen racing enthusiasts.
Several members live in Hawke's Bay - Carl Taylor, Renee Dever and Trent Miller, Wink and Andrew Hildreth, Brian and Karen Strachan, Rob Hardie, Craig and Vicki MacMillan, Vicki Sanders, Aaron and Vicki Cook, Tina King, Tracey Saxton, BJ Moleta, Richard Koorey, Doug Callaghan, Lex Verhoeven, Merv Dudley and Robbie Lawton.
Glimpse made up for an unlucky last start 9th on the first day of the Hawke's Bay spring carnival with a decisive half length win in a Rating 65 race over 1550m at Awapuni.
The Rip Van Winkle mare broke through for an impressive maiden win over 1650m at Hastings on July 19 and was then denied clear racing room over the final stages in a 1400m race at Hastings on September 1.
She had to produce a big effort at Awapuni last Saturday as she was forced to race three-wide for most of the race after drawing an outside barrier.
She was six wide entering the home straight but, once balanced up by jockey Johnathan Parkes, she surged to the front and comfortably held out the fast finishing Leading Role by half a length.
Glimpse has now had eight starts for two wins and a second for her Hunterville owner-breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace.
Cool Kuru at his best again
Hastings-born jockey Aaron Kuru was seen at his excellent best at Sunday's Rotorua meeting, kicking home three of the first four winners on the eight race programme.
Kuru, 27, showed amazing patience aboard No Change in the $20,000 Rotorua & Bay Of Plenty Hunt Cup Hurdles (3000m).
He settled the 10-year-old back in sixth place and bided his time until just before the home turn when he asked his mount to improve.
No Change quickly ranged up outside the leaders and took control after jumping the last fence, racing clear in the final stages to score by three-quarters of a length.
It was his third win from eight starts over hurdles and he has also recorded four minor placings in that role for owners Paul and Carol Nelson.
Look Out brought up his second success from five starts since joining the Paul Nelson stable when he out-finished Storming The Tower in the 2200m highweight at Rotorua.
Kuru had the horse leading in the early stages before taking a trail and he again waited until the home turn before peeling off the back of the leaders.
Storming The Tower looked the likely winner but Look Out gradually reeled him in and got up in the last couple of strides to score by a head.
Look Out began his racing career in the care of his Palmerston North owner Gary Freeman but was transferred to Nelson nine months ago.
Both Freeman and Nelson are part of the syndicate that now races the horse with other members being Nelson's two brothers, David and Mark, and close friends Brian Guerin, David Holden, Stuart Mitchell, Mike Stovell and Peter Tod from Hawke's Bay, and Manawatu's Angus MacLeod.
HB owner celebrates success
Hawke's Bay thoroughbred owner/breeder Judy Holland's racing colours were back in the winner's stall at last Saturday's Ruakaka meeting when Wings scored a game win in a maiden 1200m race.
Holland has bred and raced horses for many years but Wings is the first one she has had to the races since It's Bianca was retired to the broodmare paddock in March last year.
Wings, like It's Bianca, is trained by Cambridge-based Anne Herbert.
He was having his second start when he stepped out at Ruakaka, following a debut sixth there last month and had also won an 800m trial at Cambridge earlier this year.
"Anne has always thought a lot of him but he has just taken time," Holland said this week.
"His first race was like a trial. He didn't jump out of the barrier very well and it was an educational run and so Anne put the blinkers on him last Saturday and that really helped."
Wings again dwelt at the start of Saturday's 1200m event but jockey Trudy Thornton hunted him up to take a trailing position behind the leader and kept him right up to the mark over the final stages to get the decision by half a head.
Anne Herbert said Wings should be even better once he steps up to 1400 and 1600 metres and could look at some of the guineas races later in the season.
Holland said she bought Wings on type and breeding.
"I spend a lot of time looking through sale catalogues and I sorted out five I wanted to look at. He was the pick of the five and we got him for less than I thought we would," she said.
Wings is by Rock 'n' Pop out of the O'Reilly mare O'Dare and his third dam is the former high class race mare Dare, who won eight races for former Hastings trainer Davey Jones, including the Group 2 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.
Holland said It's Bianca, who won four races, is due to foal to Turn Me Loose.
First South Island success
Moss Jazz, a horse that was placed twice from the Hastings stable of Sue Thompson and Mick Brown early in her career, made a winning debut in the South Island on Thursday of last week.
The 6-year-old Tavistock mare, bred by Hastings brothers Chris and Ken Russell, was having her first start for Riverton trainer Stephen Blair-Eddie when she lined up in a 1200m maiden at Wingatui and scored by 2 lengths.
Chris Russell decided at the beginning of this year to send the mare south, where the class of opposition is a bit weaker.
He has retained a third share in the ownership with the other two-thirds taken up by the Blair-Eddie and one of his stable clients.
Moss Jazz drew the extreme outside barrier at Wingatui and the tactics were for apprentice jockey Amless Bohorun to bounce her straight to the front and keep kicking.
He followed the instructions to the letter and she never looked like being caught.
Moss Jazz is out of the Hey Baba Riba mare Whistling Jazz, who has also left the winners Between the Beats and Tavijazz.
HB Guineas plans for star filly
Exciting 3-year-old filly Melt is likely to take on the colts and geldings in her next start, in the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings on October 6.
Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley is pleased with the way the Iffraaj filly has come through her win in last Saturday's Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka and is looking forward to stepping her up in distance.
"I am quite keen to take the boys on in the Hawke's Bay Guineas because if she happened to step up and be superior to them, I wouldn't be adverse to running in the 2000 Guineas," Tiley said.
Melt is currently rated a $4.50 chance in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in early November and a $12 chance in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
Hastings sprint for War Affair
One month after his comeback seventh in the Group 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m), former Singapore champion galloper War Affair produced a smart performance to win an 1100m trial at Te Rapa on Tuesday.
Trained by Stephen Marsh the 2014 Singapore Horse of the Year will target the Group 3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings on October 6.